This year's Christmas mantle was a quick setup. I did something similar last year and have used almost the same items over the last few years.
As long as my kids are still home I will always have some kid-related Christmas pieces on display, like the train set. It makes me think of The Polar Express, one of my favorite movies to watch with the kids this time of year.
I have had the stocking holders since the kids were babies. The drum is a tree ornament but this year it sits next to the cross which never leaves the mantle.
I have 2 stockings, one for each child. I did not grow up with the idea that stockings were hung in order to to be filled with gifts of some sort. In fact, in a couple of the countries in which I lived when I was a child there was no fireplace or mantle to decorate at Christmas.
None of the items on the mantle are new. The wire trees are from Pottery Barn from years ago; the ornate angel from Treasure Island.
I like to incorporate elements of nature - the silver berry garland, the red berry cluster ornaments and the pine cone. Natural elements, in their simplicity and occasionally their fluidity and random shape, balance the ornate nature, structure and colors of other pieces.
I have also included a couple of crystal votive holders to add some sparkle.
As you can see, I do not work with symmetry in decorating the mantle. I like to mix things up. Although I have incorporated traditional Christmas colors there is less green on the mantle this year but there is plenty of green in the room. A glimpse on the right.
This was last year's mantle below (picture taken during the day). Not a whole lot different but I believe my photography skills have improved with the new camera.
Again, this year's mantle (picture taken at night).
Most of my holiday decorative items are10 years old; I like that they have a history. They are more meaningul, as a result.
For those of you who recognize and celebrate a holiday at this time of year, I hope your preparations are coming together.
Starting Friday evening, I have a weekend packed with holiday preparations, performances and events.
Enjoy your weekend, whatever you do!
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